Local News

Group Aims to Bring Peace to Grieving Families with Angel Memorial

Posted March 26, 2000

— Statistics show one in five families will experience the death of a child. Some Fayetteville parents want to build a place for people to go to remember those young victims.

No parent ever expects to bury a child, but Sharon Jackson had to do just that when her only child was killed in a car accident.

"What I have to do is still take one day at a time, because if I think about next year without Crystal or the next two years without her, it drives me crazy," she says.

Five years later, Jackson still visits Crystal's grave site once a week. Now, there is a movement in place to have her visit somewhere else -- a place to remember a lost child's life, not their death.

SHARE, a parental support group, is raising money to put an Angel of Hope statue in downtown Fayetteville's Cross Creek Park.

"For those who had an earlier loss, they don't have a place to visit and those who had an older child, it's painful to go to the grave and remember a child. I think the importance of the Angel of Hope is it's a place of solace," says Lori Farmer of SHARE. "It's going to be a place where their memory will live on."

The memorial will provide a healthy environment in which to grieve.

"They can do things like get involved in substance abuse, their jobs can go by the wayside, but symbols like that give them the opportunity to channel their energies," says Suzanne Walker, a professional counselor.

The total cost of the statue is $17,000. So far, SHARE has raised $5,000. If you would like to contribute, call the Cumberland Community Foundation at910-483-4449.

Ten cities across the country have similar statues. One was recently placed in Oklahoma City to honor the children killed in the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building.

The angel monument was first introduced in the best-selling book, "The Christmas Box."


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